Last season, Bournemouth were one of the teams that stayed up at the expense of Leeds United, finishing five points clear of the Premier League’s bottom three in 15th. Now, with the Whites vying for promotion back from the Championship, manager Daniel Farke has expressed interest in multiple players at the Vitality Stadium.
Leeds have reportedly identified centre-back Chris Mepham as a target for the January transfer window, while at the other end of the pitch, they’re thought to be one of seven second-tier admirers of striker Kieffer Moore, who favours a return to Cardiff City. The winner in that race may be the club who proposes the most favourable deal structure.
Now, a third Cherries target has emerged, this time in the wide areas, in the form of David Brooks.
Positive noises around Brooks availability
According to The Athletic’s Leeds correspondent, Phil Hay, speaking via The Square Ball podcast, Leeds may have a chance of signing Brooks this month. Hay suggested that “there is talk” around the player at the moment, and “a lot of people think” Bournemouth might be willing to sanction a deal in the closing stages of the transfer window.
At the beginning of the month, Andoni Iraola’s side seemed “very uncertain” in their stance over Brooks, but things could shift in the next couple of weeks, potentially opening the door for Leeds.
Brooks can join Welsh trio at Elland Road
Bournemouth signed Brooks from Sheffield United in 2018, and he proved to be an instant hit in his first Premier League season, scoring seven times and setting up five more. He would then be limited to nine games the following season after being forced to undergo ankle surgery, and that may have been part of the reason his side dropped down to the Championship.
He enjoyed a solid 2020/21 season with five goals and six assists in 32 matches, earning a “first-class” appraisal from his then-manager, Scott Parker, but then his career came to a standstill following his cancer diagnosis in the autumn of 2021. Thankfully, the wide-man recovered, returning to action last spring with Bournemouth back in the Premier League.
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In his first full season back playing, Brooks has made 12 Premier League appearances, but only two of those have come from the start, so it may be time to move on. Leeds certainly look like an appealing destination, because while he would have to drop down a tier, they have a very good chance of coming back up again through the play-offs, if not automatically. Farke will believe that, at 26, Brooks can still get back to the excellent levels he was showing in the top flight in that 2018/19 season.
Another draw is the established Welsh contingent at Elland Road, which includes defender Joe Rodon, midfielder Ethan Ampadu and attacker Dan James. Brooks has amassed 28 caps for his country up to this point, scoring three times, so may feel right at home with a switch to West Yorkshire.